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Sphero Connectivity Package

version 2.6 (584 KB) by

Control a Sphero from MATLAB and Simulink



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Sphero is an inexpensive differential-drive robotic ball that can be controlled from a Bluetooth enabled device. It features a number of sensors (accelerometers, gyros, back-emf encoders) which allows it to measure its position and velocity with a fair degree of accuracy. The Sphero's RGB LEDs allow it to glow in any color of choice, while the blue back LED indicates its current orientation. Two wheels allow the Sphero to roll on the ground and to rotate along its vertical axis.
This package (which works with MATLAB releases 2014b and newer) allows us to communicate with a Sphero from within MATLAB (and Simulink), on a computer running either Windows or 64-bit version of Mac OS 10.7 or earlier.
The package is mainly based upon a "sphero" class, which in turn relies on the MATLAB Bluetooth class. The class methods and properties allow you to perform (within MATLAB) many operations available with the underlying Sphero API, such as connecting, disconnecting, sleeping, changing LED colors, reading (and/or streaming back) the Sphero's position and velocity, and commanding each of the 2 motors independently. An higher-level roll command can also be used to move the Sphero with a certain speed and direction. The Simulink library contained in the package also features Simulink blocks for setup, timing, and basic sensing and actuation.
The readme.txt file explains how to pair up the Sphero to your computer, install the package, and create Sphero objects in MATLAB, while several examples are also included to illustrate the use of the available commands and Simulink blocks.
NOTE that the 'readLocator' capability was temporarily removed in version 3.71 of the Sphero firmware, so if you need this functionality you need to use either an older or newer version of the firmware.

Comments and Ratings (9)

Jose Lara

Jose Lara (view profile)

Hi Danvir thank you for your quick answer. You've made a great job!

Danvir Sethi

Hi Philippe,
The package is compatible with the Sphero 2.0 and Sphero SPRK versions. It is not compatible with the Sphero SPRK+ or the BB-8 because they use the Bluetooth Low Energy(BLE) or Bluetooth Smart technology, which is currently not supported by the Instrument Control Toolbox.

Sorry I wanted to say Sphero SPRK or SPRK+ version

hi Danvir! Thank you for this great work. Is it compatible with sphero 2.0?


Vinod (view profile)

Hey Danvir,

I'm playing with your m-code with great interest as a collaborator on the only other Sphero projects here on FEX.

I didn't get too far without throwing an error due to Matlab release compatibility, and so I'm commenting with a "bug-report" and description of my quick patch.

I'm using r2013a which doesn't seem to support the inputParser/addParameter. However, My version does support inputParser/addParamValue with (I think) the same signature. I threw my first error on line 770 of "sphero.m" when calling sphero/logSensors on line 230 of "sphero_getting_started.m"

Wrap addParamValue with a user-defined function addParameter. This seems to be working for me. I just added this function to my search path:

function out = addParameter(varargin)
out = addParamValue(varargin{:});



* Raw motor block updated to expect a single input with 2 elements for left and right motor. This makes the block inline with the other blocks in the library
* Added blocks and example models for Kinematic Model and Grey Box Model for the Sphero

Updated license


Bug fix & extending support for MATLAB R2013a-R2014b
* 'AccRange' & 'rotationRate' removed, due to dropped support for these commands in Sphero API (in firmware 3.71)
* units.txt file added, indicating ranges of sensor data
* 'ReadSensor' block added

MATLAB Release
MATLAB 8.4 (R2014b)

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